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By Maddie Norman
Australia is amazing!!! I’ve been here for less than a week now, but I am thrilled to say I’ve found another home. Although it was tough saying goodbye, and the 24 hour flight...well that was certainly very tough, ever since I arrived in Australia I have loved every second in this foreign wonderland!
—Quick side note…The flight itself wasn’t terrible. It was the combination of tragically leaving my Mom at the security gate AND it was my first time flying alone so I was a lil stressed. I’m laughing at myself right now because I had loads of time to kill on the plane, so I decided to write a blog post, titled “Sam Smith I’m No Good At Goodbyes.” THANK GOODNESS I never posted it. I was an emotional mess at the time, and it was essentially the most sappy sad sentimental blog post possibly ever written. Literally as soon as the plane landed I was so pumped to be in Australia that I forgot all about ever being sad!— More quick side note…I would definitely recommend buying a neck pillow for $19.99 at the airport though, that was a life saver!—
But yes, Australia is amazing! The scenery is stunning, the people are so nice and have the best accents, and coming from a coffee fanatic, the coffee here is truly the best. Even though it’s only been a couple of days, I’ve already managed to check off some things on my Australia Bucket list. Here’s a list of a few highlights…
Hike the Blue Mountains, yes the air really is more blue there! Beautiful scenery and a great stair master workout.
Feed a baby kangaroo at the Featherdale Wildlife Park. There were also koalas, wallabies, dingos, and obviously crocs!
Run the Bondi to Coogee coastal path at sunrise, highly highly highly recommend. I’m not a huge long distance runner, but somehow I managed to run seven miles without even realizing it because I was so distracted by the pretty views!
Have dinner on a sunset Sydney Harbor Boat Cruise. It was a perfect way to see the city, Opera House, and Luna Park, especially when they are all lit up at night!
Shop at Paddy’s Market, one of Sydney’s notorious weekend markets. I bought some indigenous artwork to decorate my room and bring back home for my sisters!
Eat at some awesome restaurants in Spice Alley, waterside at Bondi Beach, and other hole in the wall locations that friends of mine recommended. Australia has lots of funky food to try— a personal favorite hobby of mine.
Check out the Sydney night life! There are so many fun, young spots to go with a group for drinks, to dance, or to meet some Aussie friends.
For those studying abroad in the future, I would definitely do a little bit of research and ask around for any recommendations before you arrive. I may love planning more than the average person, but it’s been super helpful having a bucket list of things to do so that I always have ideas for my next fun activity. It’s my goal to do one new thing every day. Whether it be a new beach trip, hike, restaurant in the city, or even a new running path in the morning, I am trying to see and do as many NEW things as I can. The last thing I want to do while I’m abroad is get into a routine of doing the same thing every day. I’m only in Australia for so long, so I better explore everything this amazing country has to offer while I can!
Right now I am currently on a plane ride to Cairns for the long weekend with some new friends that I just met! We spontaneously decided to book a trip to check out the Great Barrier Reef and Trinity Beach before classes start next Monday. Oh yeah, I keep forgetting classes are starting. However! For the first time ever in my life I’m actually not dreading the start of the semester. I decided to take classses that genuinely interested me while I'm abroad, so I can gain the most of my experience here inside and outside the classroom. If that means taking more fun classes than organic chemistry, well then I’m not really going to complain about that one! I’ll be gaining some new Aussie knowledge that I wouldn’t be able to learn back at home, and I'm excited about it! For starters, I've been trying to learn some Aussie slang to incorporate it into my vocab so my American accent doesn't always scream 'hey I'm a tourist'! Here's a video you might enjoy....